Tuesday, February 07, 2012


Aberdour's Scott Crichton spearhead the seven-strong Scottish challenge in the first round of the South African amateur stroke-play golf championship at Glendower Golf Club today.
Crichton, who played on the US college circuit during his student days, shot a three-under-par 69 to be joint fifth in a field of 145, three shots behind the South African No 1 and pacemaker, Brandon Stone.
Crichton, 23, said: " I’m not unhappy with my round.”
He  had three birdies (long second, short third and long eighth, offset by two bogeys (fourth and seventh) in a front nine of 35 but completed a flawless inward half  of 34 with a brace of birdies at the short 14th and long 15th for a creditable starting round
“I played three practice rounds and worked out a game plan for the course, which I think worked well for me today,” he said.
“I had a few wayward tee shots on the front nine, but I played the back nine much better and it showed in my scores. I think it can only improve from here.”
Next best Scots were Conor O'Neil and Brian Soutar, sharing 12th place on 70. O'Neil was out in 33 with birdies at the fourth, long fifth, long eighth and ninth, but three bogeys cancelled out his sbirdies at the 11th and long 15th on the way home.
Soutar did it the other way round from O'Neil - out in 37, back in 33. Highlight of the Leven man's card was an eagle 3 at the long 15th.
Last year's Scottish championship beaten finalist Daniel Kay (Dunbar) had the best inward half of all the SGU squad - four-under 32 for a par 72 after having six bogeys in a row from the fifth to the 10th inclusive. He birdied five of the last eight holes.
Tied with Kay in joint 24th place is Fraser McKenna (Balmore) who had halves of 38 and 34.
Lundin's James White and Paul Shields (Kirkhill) had disappointing rounds of 75 and 77 respectively. White took 40 shots for the outward half, as did Shields who was four over par after only five holes.

Par 72. Length: 6,442 metres.
Players from South Africa unless stated
66 Brandon Stone
67 Lionel Weber (Fra), Gert Myburgh.
68 Haydn Porteous.
69 Callum Mowat, Victor Lange, Desne Van den Bergh, J D Oosthuizen, Jason Froneman, Andrea Bolognesi (Ita), Scott Crichton (Sco).
Other Scots' scores:
70 Conor O'Neil, Brian Soutar (T12).
72 Daniel Kay, Fraser McKenna (T24).
75 James White (T63).
77 Paul Shields (T91).
Field of 145 players.



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